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The Wild Side

Animal prints in your wardrobe and home…

2020 is a wild time to be alive – and wild times call for wild measures. Perhaps the current rush on all things animal print is the world’s way of embracing the raw unpredictability of it all. But, the more probable reason for the run on animal print is because its use in fashion and design makes us feel alive and present. Animal prints are majestic – they carry an undeniable elegance and the capability of doing just about anything. Their adaptability to the ever-changing environment feels both timely and necessary. They embody rawness, authenticity, self-confidence and a zest for life – and they’re bold and fun, too.

From cheetah and leopard prints, snake skins and tiger stripes, gentle giraffes to aggressive gators, animal prints have inundated just about every realm of creativity. Take a gander through any high-end fashion or interior design magazine and you will see just how profound an impact this design aesthetic has had on the world. Follow along for some tips on how to infuse a little bit of the wild into your wardrobe and decor.

Dress for the Wild Weather

•  A T-shirt or tank top with animal print is a great piece to pair with denim shorts and sandals. Adapt quickly to fit your work environment when you pair that tee or tank top with a blazer, a pair of slacks and work-ready pumps. 

•  Headed back into the office where there is a risk of an arctic freeze from the air conditioning? Consider a long-sleeved cheetah print button-front blouse with your power suit or pencil skirt. On a casual Friday, pair it with crisp dark denim. 

• Snag a wild pair of heels, ballet flats or even a pair of patterned sneakers to walk into the wild with.  Oddly enough, they all will pair well with just about anything in your closet – from casual denim to your little black dress. 

• A dress with an animal print is a bold and beautiful way of adding a sense of adventure to your wardrobe.  Pair it with a black blazer for a work-ready look or a denim jacket for an evening out with friends.

• It is too warm, for the time being, to wear a scarf in a traditional way. Good thing it can double as a headband or headwrap. This kind of adaptability makes nature such a force to be reckoned with. 

• In the current landscape, it is best to be prepared. Stay ready and keep those around you safe with an animal print face covering. It makes health and safety a priority while flexing some style prowess. 

• Charm-style necklaces and bracelets with tiny animals are a way to still stand bold in the wild style aesthetic with a degree of subtlety. Consider a large pair of statement earrings in animal-printed leather and you might just become the Queen of the Pride. 

• Perhaps wearing an animal print on your person is not your thing. You can always carry a clutch or a wallet that highlights your wild side. Even a fun-filled fashion accessory like a phone case or a water bottle with an animal print can serve as a daily dose of wild.

Bring the Wild Indoors

• Accent pillows and throw blankets in your favorite animal print provide an easy way to infuse a bit of excitement into your home. Use them on couches, accent chairs and as a fun pop on your bed. 

• Consider animal print curtains or draperies a wildly elegant upgrade to the traditional solid or print. A solid or subtly textured wall behind it works best to ensure there isn’t a competition.    

• If you are really feeling the call of the wild, consider a bigger purchase with an animal print.

A couch with tiger stripes, a leopard-spotted comforter or an area rug featuring cheetah-spots are larger-than-life ways to infuse this design aesthetic into your space. 

• Are you committed to living your life on the wild side? Consider painting or wallpapering an accent wall in an animal print. This concept is not for those that are faint of heart or easily bored with pattern, but if it’s done the right way, it can quickly up the style ante.  

• Décor elements like lighting, figurines, statues, and picture frames in the likeness of wild animals invites a bit of playfulness into a room – and who couldn’t use a little fun right now?

• Art or photography featuring wild animals is a dynamic way to bring an air of sophistication into your space. Bring the art closer to the forefront by adding a coffee table book featuring wild animals into the fold. Whether in color or black and white, what is on your walls or on your coffee table will speak in a roar. 

• Dine-in raw elegance on plates that feature a bold animal pattern. Or tablecloths, table runners and linen napkins can add a pop to your dining experience without having to commit forever. It is easy enough to repurpose these elements elsewhere in your home if they no longer serve their purpose in your dining area.

About Kimberly N. Bonéy

Proud wife and mom, is a freelance writer, designer, up-cycler and owner of Herstory Vintage. When she’s not working, she is joyfully wielding jewelry-making tools and paintbrushes in her studio. Antique shops, vintage boutiques, craft stores and bead shops are her happy place.

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